How is ACE organized? 

The ACE Mentor Program is made up of affiliates. Each affiliate serves high school youth within a certain region or city.

Each affiliate can have a number of teams. A mentoring team is organized similar to a project team: it will typically include an owner firm, an architectural or design firm, engineering firms representing several specialties, a construction manager, a general contractor, sub-contractors and skilled craft workers. This team is then matched with a team of students. The number of student teams an area may have is determined by the number of mentor teams in place.

Each team will have a lead firm. The mentors on the lead firm will be responsible for scheduling meetings and coordinating activities.

What is my firm’s commitment? 

The main commitment a company makes is empowering its staff to give time to the ACE Mentor Program.

Teams meet in an after-school setting during the school year. A total of 15 – 20 two-hour sessions are held at either the school or the offices of the mentors. A firm’s time commitment is approximately 30 – 40 hours each school year. Additional time may be necessary to organize for a mentoring session.

Many firms provide refreshments for the students and supplies that may be needed to complete a related activity.

What happens during the season? 

There are several types of activities that take place during the season.

  • Registration events
  • Mentoring sessions with the students where they are introduced to a segment of the industry and complete activities
  • College nights
  • Field Trips
  • Special speaker presentations
  • Project development – each team must conceptualize, design, and create a project
  • Final presentations – student from each team gather together to present their projects to each other, parents, teachers, and industry leaders
  • Scholarships presentation events
What qualities make a good mentor? 

Mentors are dedicated professionals who are passionate about what they do and want to share that with the next generation of the industry’s workforce. Ideal qualities for a mentor are enthusiasm and the ability to develop a rapport with the students.

Young mentors often can relate to the students more readily, but mentors of all ages have been very successful. Also, the closer the diversity of the mentors matches that of the students, the easier it will be to form strong relationships.

What are the benefits to my company? 

Besides feeding the pipeline with the next generation of construction industry workforce, your company will benefit from its involvement with ACE.

The program:

  • Enhances your company image, within the industry and also the community
  • Provides networking opportunities, for both mentors and principals
  • Connects your firm to talented and motivated part-time help and to potential future employees
  • Enhances young professionals presentation and communication skills
  • Creates an opportunity to “give back” to your community and to your industry
How can my company join an established ACE program? 

Please refer to the map of ACE locations. Contact the regional coordinator in that area. They will warmly welcome your firm. If you do not see your location, please email our national office or call them at 703.942.8101.

How can I start an affiliate in my area? 

Since the program is industry driven, ACE relies on the nucleus of a few local A/E/C firms from an area to start a program. Contact our national office, at 703.942.8101 to start a program or to become involved in the planning of a new affiliate.